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Biomedical Materials & Devices

Medical Plastics Center at Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend has the only plastics-specific majors available within Penn State and one of only four accredited programs in the United States. We have the largest plastics lab dedicated to undergraduate studies in the country, with multimillion dollar state-of-the-art computer, materials, and processing labs.

Our mission is to partner with companies to maximize medical device performance and lower the cost of healthcare.

Faculty Experts: 
Chen, Long-Qing
Frecker, Mary
Liu, Zi-Kui
Messing, Gary
Palmer, Todd
Simpson, Timothy
Zhang, Qiming
Ounaies, Zoubeida

Medical Diagnostics

Biomaterials are crucial to the development of many modern medical devices and products including biodegradable sutures, bone screws, pins, rods and plates, and scaffolds for regenerating bone, cartilage and blood vessels. With each new discovery comes a chance to solve yet-unmet clinical challenges.

Faculty Experts: 
Lanagan, Mike
Lissenden III, Clifford
Mallouk, Thomas
Meyer, Richard
Rose, Joseph
Schiff, Steven
Shrout, Thomas
Tadigadapa, Srinivas
Tittmann, Bernhard
Trolier-McKinstry, Susan
Uchino, Kenji
Zhang, Qiming

Microelectromechanical Systems and Nanoelectromechanical Systems

A Splash of Alcohol Eases the Friction When Tiny Gears Meet

MEMS are micro machines that typically range in size from as small as a dust particle up to the size of a grain of rice (20 microns to a millimeter). MEMS are embedded in cell phones, automotive air bags, digital cameras, microphones, and ink jet printers, to name only a few of their multibillion dollar applications. More recently, MEMS accelerometers that measure the motion in handheld devices are the enabling technology in the popular Nintendo Wii gaming system.

Faculty Experts: 
Lanagan, Mike
Lissenden III, Clifford
Mallouk, Thomas
Meyer, Richard
Rose, Joseph
Schiff, Steven
Shrout, Thomas
Tadigadapa, Srinivas
Tittmann, Bernhard
Trolier-McKinstry, Susan
Uchino, Kenji
Zhang, Qiming

Cell Steering and Cell Screening

Experiments show hypothesis of microtubule steering accurate

Tiny protein motors in cells can steer microtubules in the right direction through branching nerve cell structures, according to Penn State researchers who used laboratory experiments to test a model of how these cellular information highways stay organized in living cells.

Faculty Experts: 
Hancock, William
Lissenden III, Clifford
Mallouk, Thomas
Meyer, Richard
Rose, Joseph
Schiff, Steven
Shrout, Thomas
Tadigadapa, Srinivas
Tittmann, Bernhard
Trolier-McKinstry, Susan
Uchino, Kenji
Zhang, Qiming

Mary Frecker

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Frecker is designing a new generation of micro surgical instruments to help overcome the limitations in today’s design.

Tissue Engineering

In recent years, the prospect of growing artificial tissue either outside or within the body has created a new biomedical field called regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. It is a research area that crosses a number of physical and life science and engineering disciplines, among them chemical engineering, bioengineering, biology, chemistry, materials science, and medicine.

The goal, according to a National Science Foundation report, “The Emergence of Tissue Engineering as a Research Field,” is to make “living replacement parts for the human body.”

Faculty Experts: 
Wang, Yong

Nano/Micro Devices for Diagnostics and Treatment

Fabricating Medical Devices at the Micro and Nano Scale

In the Micro and Nano Integrated Biosystem Laboratory (MINIBio) in the Department of Bioengineering, Siyang Zheng and his students use micro- and nanofabrication technology to create devices to study fundamental biological processes, to improve diagnosis of diseases, and to treat patients in more convenient and economical ways through the use of miniaturized devices and systems.

Faculty Experts: 
Yang, Jian
Zheng, Siyang

Nanomedicine

Many biological materials and processes exist at the nanoscale - DNA is about 2 nm in diameter and nature has optimized viruses to invade cells at ~ 50 nm. By developing materials that correspond to this size scale, scientists and engineers can offer new tools to clinicians for the improvement of human health. For example, novel biomedical nanomaterials can be used within the body to deliver drugs, track and treat diseases, as coatings for implants, in neural recording and stimulation, and in tissue regeneration.

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